Common Works Registration Tools

Free CWR Tools is a growing collection of free tools related to Common Works Registration process, the world-wide standard process of registration of musical works. These tools are provided with no guarantees or support.

They are based on development version of our proprietary CWR library, which is one of the foundations of the various services we provide to music industry, primarily music publishers. We see it as a win-win deal. Users get valuable tools and information and we get real-world data and free testers.

Minimal Common Works Registration


Example of a minimal registration

John and Jane Doe have created The Work. The Publisher is representing John and not Jane. John collects 25% of perf. directly, other 25% and 50% for mech. and sync. rights are collected by The Publisher. No original publisher for Jane has been specified.

Minimal CWR is a basic formset for creating a minimal CWR registration - up to 5 authors, a single original publisher for all controlled authors, no sub-publishers, with fixed reasonable defaults for just about everything.

It is really just a proof of concept and a nice educational tool.

Like all tools here, this one is a side-effect of the development process. It is basically a set of unit tests with some of the data received through a web form.

CWR 2.1 Syntax for Sublime Text 3

Sublime Syntax and accompanying Color Scheme highlight fields in CWR rows that are fully compliant to the CWR 2.1 and EDI 1.1 specifications, with few exceptions. It does not take into account conditional field mandatority. It does not validate society numbers or territory codes. It completely ignores all non-roman record types and encoding setting. Please note that the validation is very basic compared to the next free CWR tool, but it works in Sublime Text 3 editor (and only in that editor).


Although Error Messages and some society names are specified in mixed case, EDI 1.1 specification clearly states that only uppercase alpha characters are valid. Yes, this does mean that most societies send CWR files that are not fully compliant with specifications.

This tool is a side-product of the primary field and record level validation.

Online Visual CWR Validator


Visual CWR Validator is the only freely available online validator for CWR 2.1 files. It has complete field- and record-level validation as well as most of transaction-, group- and file-level checks.

This tool arose as a side-product of tests of the validation process to which the “visual” component was added. CWR file is highlighted and there is detail information about each field when you hover over it.

Among these free tools, this one is by far most useful and mostly used. It points out issues with CWR files, but it is also a great tool for understanding what CWR actually is and exactly how it works.

CWR Repair Tool

CWR Repair Tool is an extension of the visual validator. It can fix some of the errors in CWR files. Some fixes are completely safe, such as adding missing blanks at the end of the row, adding a carriage return character before the line feed or changing case to uppercase. But most of changes are somewhat hazardous, as they presume the intentions of the generating software.

We needed a fast way to make acknowledgment files, as well as other files sent from societies, truly CWR compliant, and this tool is just a generalization of that process. That is pretty safe in the case of the acknowledgment files, since only the ACK and MSG lines are original, others are basically lines we sent to the society. It should be only used as a learning tool.

CSV to CWR converter

One of the features of our CWR library is that it simplifies validation of data, regardless of format. This tool simulates data import from a CSV file to a database, without any data being actually written, and then exporting it from the simulated database to the CWR format.

This tools is not properly tested or fully documented yet. If you would like to test it, please contact us.

Simple EBR to CWR converter


Simple EBR to CWR converter does exactly what the name says, it converts Electronic Batch Registration files to Common Works Registration files.

EBR files only contain performing rights affiliation and shares, so that applies to CWR created with this tool as well. There is an experimental feature that calculates MR and PR shares.

We do provide a payed service where we create far more complete CWR files based on manually extended EBR files. Still, please upload your EBR file(s) to the free version for validation first. If it passes, and you want a full CWR, contact us. If you can not make it pass in several tries, we can help you here as well.